A Conversation On Innovation And Essentialism With Anour
Copenhagen-based lighting studio Anour fuse Danish design tradition with innovation: producing timeless pieces that reintroduce the value of simplicity, with an emphasis on sustainability.
Anour produces beautiful designs that quietly add to the atmosphere of a space. With an emphasis on high quality and authenticity, all Anour designs are handcrafted in Denmark: individually tailored for each customer using brass, copper, marble, steel, and wood. The timeless nature of their designs and the manufacturing methods that they employ are both responses to capitalist consumerism and the waste that it engenders. We spoke to Arash Nourinejad, founder of Anour, about the adage ‘less is more’, his architectural influences and why essentialism is key to great design.
With a background in architecture, why did you decide to establish Anour?
Anour is my faith, I just didn’t know it at the time. The website Anour.dk was established as a means to showcase my portfolio when I graduated in 2007. I had a hard beginning and struggled to find work during the recession, eventually settling for an interior job with a Danish kitchen brand. During this period I did some home improvements by designing and building my own furniture. The first I_model, now a fundamental part of the Anour brand, was made as an accessory to compliment a bed I had crafted. When I finally saw the light installed above the headboard for the first time, I fell to the ground laughing with joy. I recollect telling my wife that I wouldn’t be surprised if the light turned out the be a design icon, rather than the bed.
How has your architectural expertise influenced your design practice?
I believe that great design is about eliminating the noise, by reducing objects to their absolute essentials. I’m constantly searching for the source of purity and perfection in my work. Light is the soul of a space, a crucial part of architecture as a whole. Lines are also an important aspect, they are the basics within the architectural practice I would say. My work is influenced by my background, within architecture as well as my interests in mechanics, arts and craftsmanship. My appreciation of skilful works by artisans is a big influence.
You’re based in Copenhagen, how has this shaped your design identity?
Copenhagen is the centre of the Nordic countries within the creative industry, it’s an inspiring city. Constantly reinventing itself. It’s big enough to be interesting, and small enough so you feel right at home. I think a big part of my design education can be attributed to the changing light in this part of the world. Nordic light is not comparable to any other place in the world I’ve visited.
You state “Great design is a reflection of its surroundings and should interpret and adapt to the needs of society.” Why is this important to you? And how do your luminaires reflect this?
We have exhausted our planet for the desire for more. I’m torn betweenthe need to create and the realization that we have too much already. The only way I can justify my work, is to create something that contributes more that it consumes. A timeless piece that stays relevant even when trends change. Something that is meant to last, be serviced and reused.
Anour is ‘reintroducing the value of simplicity’. In your opinion, why did this value decrease? And why is its reintroduction important?
The ‘New Nordic Wave’ of furniture makers, are riding on the craftsmanship of the past, but too often neglecting the care they put into their products. Most consumers are unaware of this, due to their compulsive materialism and lack of better understanding. I think we as professionals in the industry, have an obligation to protect our heritage, not to sell out of our legacy to make a quick buck. Less is more so to say, even though capitalism is pulling us in the opposite direction. It’s a way of life, that I’m desperately trying to defend. Anour is all about authentic value and what that entails.